PLEDGE NOW
From Annette To Bieber: Teen Idols Then And Now

Teenage stars, from Annette Funicello to Justin Bieber. What is their role in, for, society?

 This 1955 file photo provided by Walt Disney Co., shows Annette Funicello, a "Mouseketeer" on Walt Disney's TV series the "Mickey Mouse Club." (AP/Disney) Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs on stage during the "I Believe Tour " in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, March 31, 2013. (AP)

This 1955 file photo provided by Walt Disney Co., shows Annette Funicello, a “Mouseketeer” on Walt Disney’s TV series the “Mickey Mouse Club.” (AP/Disney) Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs on stage during the “I Believe Tour ” in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, March 31, 2013. (AP)

Annette Funicello died this week at 70.  She was twelve years old when Walt Disney made her a Mickey Mouse Club star.  So squeaky clean she didn’t show her belly button when it came to Beach Blanket Bingo.

Not so for the latest generation of onetime Disney stars.  Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens break out hot and rough in Spring Breakers.  From Shirley Temple to Funicello to Lindsey Lohan to Justin Bieber, there’s a pattern in what we want and what we get in child stars, teen stars.

This hour, On Point:  the role and the arc of the very young in stardom.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jane O’Connor, senior lecturer and research fellow in Childhood and Family Studies at the University of Wolverhampton. Author of “The Cultural Significance of the Child Star.”

Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University.

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN “Annette Funicello, one of the best-known members of the original 1950s ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ and a star of numerous 1960s ‘beach party’ films, died Monday at a California hospital, the Walt Disney Co. said. Funicello, who was 70, ‘died peacefully from complications due to multiple sclerosis, a disease she battled for over 25 years,’ the Disney statement said.”‘

Washington Post “Despite the films’ mildly naughty titles, Ms. Funicello’s clean-cut reputation remained intact. ‘Go ahead and have fun — the good, clean fun,’ Ms. Funicello recalled Disney saying. ‘But I have one request. I know everyone will be bikini-clad. I’d like you to look different. Would you wear a one-piece suit, or if it’s a two-piece, please don’t expose your navel.'”

USA Today “In a note on her Facebook page, Jada Pinkett Smith is sticking up for Justin Bieber and Quvenzhane Wallis, and any other young star in the media today. She writes: ‘How can we ask for our young stars to have a high level of responsibility if we are not demonstrating that same level of responsibility towards them?'”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 30, 2015
Shereef Bishay, co-founder of Dev Bootcamp, center, talks with student Ryan Guerrettaz during a class at Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Dev Bootcamp is one of a new breed of computer-programming schools that’s proliferating in San Francisco and other U.S. tech hubs. These “hacker boot camps” promise to teach students how to write code in two or three months and help them get hired as web developers, with starting salaries between $80,000 and $100,000, often within days or weeks of graduation. (AP)

From barista to tech wiz. Computer coding boot camps are hot. Vaulting their graduates in just months into high-paying jobs. We’ll look at the surge.

Jul 30, 2015
Conan O'Brien speaks at the 43rd AFI Lifetime Achievement Award Tribute Gala at the Dolby Theatre on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Los Angeles.  (AP)

Who owns jokes? Seriously. In the age of social media, the lines are murky.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 29, 2015
The transit area at Terminal 3 in Singapore's Changi Airport, ranked as the world's best airport by SkyTrax, a UK-based travel consultancy. (WikiCommons / Jay8g)

New York City’s LaGuardia Airport to be torn down and rebuilt. We’ll consider what makes a great airport now, and how the US stacks up to the global competition.

 
Jul 29, 2015
Federal investigators respond to the scene of a shooting at the Grand Theatre on Thursday, July 23, 2015, in Lafayette, La. (AP)

Guns, background checks, and mass shootings. A new outcry over the system that decide who gets a gun and who doesn’t.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Q & A: Scott Walker On The Iran Deal, Huckabee Comments
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker explains his opposition to the Iran Deal, his record of statewide electoral victory and why he feels he’s set to win the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

More »
Comment
 
Q & A: Carly Fiorina On Trump, Sexism, And Being Cut From The GOP Debate
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Republican Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of computer giant Hewlett-Packard, joined guest host John Harwood to talk Donald Trump, the upcoming Republican candidate debate and sexism in modern life.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The News: July 24, 2015
Friday, Jul 24, 2015

You all really, really love to listen to our week in the news segments (that’s great) and we wonder why. Plus: Alex Trebek can’t really sing, in case you were wondering.

More »
2 Comments